Neshannock dominates Monaca
Neshannock (66) Vs. Monaca (44)
Jan 20, 2009

Tom Karczewski was stumped.

The Monaca High boys basketball coach didn’t know what else his team could have done to stop Neshannock in last night’s 66-44 WPIAL Section 1-A loss.

“Maybe playing with six guys, if they would let us do that,” Karczewski joked. “That’s all I can figure out.”

The Lancers’ dominating win was far from when the two met earlier in the year. The Indians took that game — a 57-53 win at home — on Dec. 16.

“They played very physical and they’re a very defensive-minded team. Their guys really get after it,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “(The last meeting) might have shocked us as far as how physical they were down there.

“The biggest thing is we were more prepared for their physical style of play.”

Neshannock (5-1 section, 9-5 overall), ranked No. 4 in Class A by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, took advantage of five Monaca turnovers and used an 8-0 run to finish the first quarter with a 16-9 lead.

“We’ve gone through that in a lot of stages where we don’t score for three or four minutes, but (opponents) will come down and hit four or five shots,” Karczewski said. “With a team like Neshannock, they have shooters all over the place and they can put the ball in the hole. They have some nice ballplayers.”

The Lancers remained on a roll and used a 13-3 run to go into the half with a 36-20 lead.

“They shot the lights out in the second quarter,” said Karczewski, whose Indians have lost three of their last four games. “The second quarter really killed us.

“The second half was pretty even. We played about the same as we did when we played them down at our place. Tonight, they hit every shot. When we were down at our place, they didn’t hit those shots and it was a tight game.”

Monaca (3-4, 7-7) matched Neshannock with 10 points in the third quarter and trailed 46-30 before the fourth.

“Through out the game, I thought we did a good job keeping up the intensity defensively,” Corey said. “Offensively, we did a nice job attacking the glass, so I’m pretty happy.”

Senior guard Tony Kirkwood and junior forward Bobby Nittinger took care of the majority of Neshannock’s scoring. Kirkwood led all scorers with 20 points, while Nittinger followed with 14 points and seven rebounds.

“They’re a great tandem,” Corey said. “Actually, I don’t think they shot the ball that well tonight, but they were able to knock down some jumpers and get to the free throw line.”

Junior forward Eric Bruening led the Lancers in rebounds with 14. He had three blocks and scored nine points.

“We played great defense and Bruening got a ton of rebounds,” Kirkwood said. “We got offensive and defensive rebounds and boxed out. We pushed the ball up the court and our whole team just clicked together.”

Karczewski knew his team could have done a better job rebounding.

“They definitely beat us on the boards,” he said. “We weren’t boxing out well, which is out of character for us. We weren’t in real good position.

“It had a little bit to do with what we were running on offense. It put us in worse position and put some of our better rebounders away from the hoop.”

Neshannock moves to the top of the section standings along with Lincoln Park (5-1). Union (4-2) follows in second with Monaca (3-4) dropping to third.

The Lancers will face Beaver County Christian (1-6) on Jan. 27 and then will face Lincoln Park for a second time Jan. 30.

“The confidence is there,” Corey said. “The focus is what we’re concentrating on right now. We need to get these guys to focus for 32 minutes.

“Confidence-wise, I think everybody in the locker room knows we’re a good basketball team. We just need to focus and take it from there.”

Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Neshannock 16 20 10 20 0 66
Monaca 9 11 10 14 0 44
Box Scores
Tony Reda 4 0-0 8
Skyler Schultz 2 0-0 5
Chad Tokarski 2 3-3 7
Zach Delturco 1 0-0 2
Andy Ronczka 1 1-2 3
Jesse Hribar 0 0-0 0
Joe Garuccio 2 0-0 6
Nate Lalama 1 2-2 4
Darrin Defelice 0 2-2 2
Brad Goedeker 3 0-0 7.
Totals: 16 8-9 44.

Bobby Nittinger 6 1-2 14
Bryce Kauffman2 1-2 5
Tony Kirkwood 12 4-6 20
Eric Bruening 2 5-8 9
Stephen Perrott 1 0-0 2
Brandon Doran 2 0-2 4
Joey Fontana 2 2-2 6
Brandon Fischer 1 0-0 2
Chris Graziani 0 2-2 2
John Sansone 0 1-2 1
Brandon Marinelli 0 1-2 1.
Totals: 23 17-28 66.

MONACA 9 11 10 14 — 44
NESHANNOCK 16 20 10 20 — 66

3-point goals — Neshannock 3 (Nittinger 1, Kirkwood 2), Monaca 4 (Schultz 1, Garuccio 2, Goedeker 1).
JV score: Neshannock 70, Monaca 53. High scorer: N — Marinelli 34, Sansone 15. M — Delturco 21.

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